Week 22 was a goal fest, so we're going three at the back and all out for scoring with this 3-5-2 lineup.
GK Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls): RBNY beat the Union by two goals this week. Not coincidentally, Robles made two big saves to keep an unlikely win in reach as his team struggled to contain Philadelphia.
DEF Pa Modou Kah (Vancouver Whitecaps): Don't let the 3-0 scoreline fool you - Vancouver had to work hard for this week's win in Seattle. The Sounders dominated every metric of attacking superiority - possession, corners, crosses, passes, shots - except the only one that counts: goals. Kah was immense on both sides of the ball: six interceptions and - most importantly - two goals. They weren't your usual center-back goals either: a confident volley and a dainty back-heel gave him perhaps the prettiest multi-goal haul of the week.
DEF Jeff Larentowicz (Chicago Fire): How does the worst team in MLS beat (one of) the best? Being at home helps; dogged defending does the rest. It doesn't seem fair to pick just one Fire player after the team battled to a rearguard win over FC Dallas, but we have no choice. Larentowicz provided a little bit of everything to the backline - nine clearances, four interceptions, four tackles and three blocks - and the Fire kept FCD scoreless. closing out a 2-0 win.
LM Chris Rolfe (D.C. United): DCU was two goals down in 21 minutes against RSL this week - and stayed down until Rolfe spurred a comeback, starting just before half-time. In the 42nd minute, he put DC on the board. In the 54th minute, he knocked in a penalty to tie things up. In the 59th minute, he lobbed a cross too far over Fabian Espindola - and watched it get half-cleared to Taylor Kemp: 3-2 to DCU. And after RSL equalized, Rolfe played Alvaro Saborio in for a sequence that resulted in a goal for Fabian Espindola. Rolfe was substituted with the scores tied at 4-4, but he engineered the momentum shift that put DC back in the hunt for three points after it appeared the Eastern Conference leader had squandered home advantage in the opening minutes of the first half.
CM Steven Gerrard (LA Galaxy): LA's first road win of the 2015 MLS regular season came in Week 22 against the Colorado Rapids. Gerrard's highlights suggested his teammates may enjoy feasting off his mishits and misfortunes for the rest of the season: Alan Gordon got the Galaxy's go-ahead goal by tapping in the rebound from an on-target Gerrard shot; the former Liverpool captain then overhit a pass to Robbie Keane, who scrambled after it and turned the error into LA's third goal of the game. If he can help his team out when his shots and passes aren't quite achieving what he intends, Gerrard will be an intimidating prospect when he does settle in to MLS.
CM Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact): He had some baffling misses that might ultimately have cost his team a deserved three points, but found the net with a confident finish in the first half and a well-taken penalty in the second to lead L'Impact to a road win over NYC FC that puts Montreal in full control of its playoff destiny.
CM Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls): This is a Red Bulls blog, so when Captain Dax McCarty snuffed out Philadelphia Union's injury-time quest for an equalizer and spurred a counter-attack that sealed the game for RBNY - we wanted to put him in Team of the Week just for that. But we also have to consider the one-time pass he made to spring Shaun Wright-Phillips in the build-up to the Red Bulls' second goal. And his defensive work: four interceptions, four tackles, three clearances and 11 recoveries.
RM Shaun Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls): The game-changer (playing on the left, but Chris Rolfe has that spot in this lineup) for RBNY in Philadelphia: won a penalty within five minutes of entering the match, then set up his brother to turn a game the Red Bulls seemed likely to lose into one they would go on to win.
FWD Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC): Two goals in OCSC's imperious 5-2 beat-down of Columbus gives Larin a share of MLS's all-time scoring record for rookie players. He still has plenty of games to play, so this was the week Larin didn't just help his club out of a losing streak but helped himself to a near-certain Rookie of the Year award at the end of the season.
COACH Jesse Marsch (New York Red Bulls): The Union has had RBNY's number all season - winning at Red Bull Arena in MLS and US Open Cup. For most of the teams' Week 22 meeting, it seemed Philly still had the secret to success against Marsch's Red Bulls. The coach's first substitution did not inspire confidence: swapping in Shaun Wright-Phillips for Lloyd Sam seemed a conservative move when the team looked in urgent need of more ideas up front. But SWP created two goals within 15 minutes of entering the game. Then Marsch yanked Mike Grella in favor of Anatole Abang - an attacking substitution when it seemed the team might want to focus on protecting its lead. Abang would score the capper for RBNY, after Marsch had made his third - bizarre - substitution: BWP out; Karl Ouimette in; an abrupt switch from what had appeared to be a defend-from-the-front strategy. And it all paid off: RBNY won a match it had no business winning; the adjustments turned the game and kept it turned. No one will call beating Philadelphia the most important win of the Red Bulls' season, but Marsch will look back on this week's performance with deserved satisfaction.